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Baby Blues battle it out in the kitchen

Our kings of the kitchen Carlton's first-year players battle it out in the grand final of the Club's Food Preparation & Nutrition Program, proudly supported by LaManna Direct.

Last Tuesday night Carlton’s first-year players weren’t competing on the training track – they were battling it out in the kitchen!

After participating in a four-week ‘Nutrition and Food Preparation Program’, the grand finale was held at LaManna Direct in Essendon Fields, with the winners crowned Carlton’s ‘Master Chef’ champions.

The players were paired up in teams, working together and putting their culinary skills to the test. 

The duos consisted of: Matthew Korcheck and David Cuningham, Andrew Gallucci and Jack Silvagni, Jesse Glass-McCasker and Harry McKay, and Jacob Weitering and Charlie Curnow. 

On their arrival at 6:00pm, the players (chefs!) had to hit the LaManna Direct aisles and buy their ingredients, before getting set up in the kitchen. 

They had one hour to complete their meals, with the menu ranging from pasta carbonara to chicken tacos, grilled steak with capsicum, to a Mexican breakfast hotpot.

As the clock hit 7:00pm it was time to place their meals in front of the judging panel, which was instructed to critique the meals based on nutritional value, how the meal aids performance, taste and presentation. 

The panel of judges included Board member Kate Jenkins, development and academy coach Mathew Capuano, Visy female football ambassador Lauren Arnell, Vince (LaManna Direct owner) and Patrick LaManna (manager), and Carlton dietician Tim Stewart. 

Jenkins praised the pairs for their delicious menus, as well as their enthusiasm and presentation. 

“Every single meal was fantastic and was presented well,” she said.

“They had to talk about the nutrition and that was fantastic…they always put their best foot forward and it looks like they can feed themselves, so I’m pretty happy to know that.”   

In a controversial ending, two teams tied for first place with 50 points: McKay and Glass-McCasker, along with Silvagni and Gallucci – but there could only be one winner. 

To decide the victors, the players had to answer a nutritional question about their meals correctly. 

And the winning team was…drum roll…McKay and Glass-McCasker!

McKay spoke graciously after being crowned one of Carlton’s ‘Master Chef’ champions, with him and Glass-McCasker winning $200 worth of groceries courtesy of LaManna Direct.

“We were pretty confident coming in that we could take home the chocolates, and we did that,” McKay said. 

“There was some average cooking with the other groups, but we were pretty happy with our performance,” he chuckled.

Congratulations, boys!

Here are Carlton Media's favourite snaps from the grand finale:

Carlton Board member Kate Jenkins, one of the judges, lends Jesse Glass-McCasker a helping hand. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Matt Korcheck and Jack Silvagni get to work in the kitchen. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Jacob Weitering and Charlie Curnow present their pasta dish. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Andrew Gallucci and Jack Silvagni were happy with their dish. (Photo: Carlton Media)

The judging panel (left to right): Lauren Arnell, Vince LaManna, Mathew Capuano, Tim Stewart, Kate Jenkins and Patrick LaManna. (Photo: Carlton Media)

David Cuningham and Matt Korcheck show off their pasta dish. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Everyone was delighed with what Harry McKay and Jesse Glass-McCasker served up, including the chefs themselves. (Photo: Carlton Media)

Winners are grinners! Jesse Glass-McCasker and Harry McKay take home the goods. (Photo: Carlton Media)

The Carlton Football Club and LaManna Direct come together for a group shot. (Photo: Carlton Media)